5 tips for optimizing your outbound sales voicemails

Posted October 24, 2017

We’ve said it once and we’ll say it again – if you think people aren’t checking their voicemail anymore, you’re wrong. In fact, prospects will respond to your voicemail 5% of the time. It might sound like a small number, but those replies add up and could be the tipping point between a killer quarter and just barely missing quota. 

Don’t waste any more time wondering if that SVP would have called you back had you only left a sales voicemail. Voicemail drop (available in beta) allows you to pre-record voicemails so you save time leaving messages, and you’re always prepared with the right thing to say when you hear that beep. For reps making 100 calls a day, this can win back seven hours of selling time per month!

We’re sharing five tips to help you optimize your use of voicemail drop to up your reply rates and make the most of the ever-underrated voicemail.

1. Create scenario-based sales voicemails to make your message feel more personal.

Calling all Dreamforce attendees!! This is going to be your secret weapon for events and any other scenario where you connect with a lot of prospects in a similar way. If you meet a lot of prospects at the same event (for instance, Dreamforce), add a general reference to where you met into the message. For instance, “Hi, this is Chelsey. I’m following up on our great conversation at Dreamforce…”. This event-specific personalization can be used for many different prospects, but helps you add an extra level of detail to remind your prospect of how you met and make the message feel more personal. Our advice is to create a sequence that caters specifically to follow ups from a specific event and make all your calls for that group during the same time block so you can always leave the correct sales voicemail.

2. Be consistent to impress senior business leaders.

People care about consistency. Being consistent with your messaging throughout a sequence helps your prospect build trust and familiarity towards you. And for more junior sales reps who are reaching out to senior business leaders, having concise, on-point messaging will help you stand out from the mountains of pitches and requests coming through their inbox. Double down on your messaging by ensuring your voicemail reiterates the value props you outlined in the email you most recently sent. An easy way to do this is to create a voicemail for a specific sequence – for instance, if step one is an email, tie the voicemail for your phone call in step two back to that email.

3. Keep it short and sweet.

You need to get your message across in a voicemail, but nobody has time to listen to a five minute soliloquy. Show your prospect that you respect their time by keeping your voicemails short, sweet, and to the point. The length can vary, but under no circumstance should a dropped voicemail exceed 20 seconds. If you’re pushing 30 seconds, get cozy with the delete button because that’s where you’re headed. Not sure how to trim down your message? Never underestimate the power of a simple “Hi, this is Chelsey from Outreach. You can reach me at 123-456-7890. Talk to you soon.”

4. Create a journey for your buyer.

Much like the concept of maintaining consistent messaging for your prospect, you can use different sales voicemails throughout different points in your sequence to create a journey for your buyer. There are two simple ways you can do this.

The first is by leaving sequential voicemails. For the first voicemail you can leave, let the prospect know this is the first time you’re calling, and that you’ll follow up with them later. Then, your next voicemail can reference that you called them previously. Keep this journey going throughout your sequence to make your prospect feel more familiar with you.

The second way to do this is with the email/voicemail combo move. Record a voicemail that references that you will follow up with an email. For instance, you can say something like “It looks like I missed you, but I’ll send an email with some available times for us to connect.” Then, make the next step in your sequence, and email that ties directly back to what you mentioned in your voicemail. The consistent messaging will increase the odds that your prospect will follow up.

5. Know when to make it personal.

We created voicemail drop to help you make the right trade offs with your time. Most of the time, your time isn’t well spent leaving the same voicemail over and over again manually. But sometimes, taking those precious seconds to leave a customized voicemail will pay off. Always think about the individual scenario so you can make the right trade offs with your time. A good rule of thumb on when to use voicemail drop vs when to personalize: for the 500 random people who passed you their business card at a conference, you can probably use voicemail drop. For the 5 people you actually got to know over cocktails or dinner, take a few moments to make it more personal.

Now that you’re equipped with our best voicemail drop tips and tricks, head over to our support page to get set up! Need a voicemail drop refresher? Check out the video below!


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